Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookies, cookies, cookies!

Yesterday, daycare was closed so Emily and I spent the day together at home. I would have planned something super fun for us to do, but with this weather it is easier to just stay at home. We're still seeing negative temps, but it's supposed to warm up a little over the next few days.

So after playing house, tea party, and painting fingernails and reminding Emily not to touch anything for what seemed like forever, it was nap time for her and baking time for me.

My book club (Reading Between the Wines - these ladies are seriously awesome) started doing a cookie exchange last year. Last year I think I had to bake something like 10 dozen cookies. I'm an okay cook, but I'm not a great baker. I can make a serviceable cookie, but I definitely don't loooooove baking. However, I do looooooove to eat cookies (99% of the reason why I run), and my book club ladies are pretty awesome cooks AND bakers. So, for the work I put into my cookies, I get much better ones in return. Seems fair, right?

This year I only had to make 6 dozen, so I decided to try my hand at Peppermint Meltaways from the Taste of Home. They seemed relatively easy, and festive. When you double the recipe, it makes exactly 7 dozen cookies so I had some for home, too. Here is what they are supposed to look like:
OooOOoo, pretty!

So, I got my ingredients all ready while Emily ate lunch and once I put her down, it was showtime! I will say that these were easy to make. I just don't like baking in general. However, I think maybe I'd add a little more butter, or just a teensy bit of milk to the cookie part. Mine are a little on the dry side. Hmm...maybe don't listen to me since I'm not a baker and I really don't know how to remedy this problem. 

Anyway, my first batch got a little too brown on the bottom because I had my oven rack too close to the heating element. Also, I tend to be a bit Scotch in all things, cookie baking included. My first batch of cookies are tiny, and they got a lot bigger towards the end. Ditto with the amount of frosting on each cookie. I decided that the tiny brown ones would be the cookies I kept for home. No wonder Travis thinks I'm a horrible baker.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, are my finished cookies for your inspection:

You can tell that the right side were the first few batches, and they get bigger as you move to the left. Also, I bought candy canes instead of peppermint candies. Buy the peppermint candies. Candy canes are a PITA to crush up. PITAAAAA. So, after breaking them, then beating them with my rolling pin, I decided each cookie was only getting a sliver of candy cane on the top. Not quite like the original picture but, let's face it - my cookies were never going to look that good. I did, however, put all my icing into a zip lock baggie to create a piping bag. That saved me some time and frustration. See? I have skills, and I know how to execute them. But not all of us can be the Cakeboss. 

So, to make things fair, I took two cookies from each batch to make up each exchange dozen. That way there's a good mix of big and little. What I lack in baking skills, I made up for in these cute tubs for each lady. They're reusable, so really, this is the gift that keeps on giving. 

 All things said and done, they are tasty little treats. Even better, they're bite-sized so it's ok to eat two or three. Or all 12 if that's what you're going for. Our book club meeting is tonight, amd I'm very excited to see what everyone else has to exchange!

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